SportF1Mercedes does not want to finish F1 2022 as...

Mercedes does not want to finish F1 2022 as "the first loser"

The German car manufacturer seems to have turned around its problems at the start of the course and achieved its second double podium finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Russell crossed the line in third position after starting from pole position, while Hamilton recovered from a DRS failure in qualifying to claim second place in a row.

With Ferrari suffering in another difficult afternoon, with Charles Leclerc sixth and Carlos Sainz fourth, Mercedes has moved within 30 points of its Italian rivals in the constructors’ championship.

Based on its current track record, Mercedes has a good chance of overtaking Maranello and finishing behind Red Bull this season, but team boss Toto Wolff says that achievement is of less interest.

In fact, he assures that it is much more important for him the ability of Mercedes to take a step forward in performance and start to achieve victories by pure pace.

“The second is the first loser,” he declared when asked about the chances of overtaking Ferrari this season.

“I think for me personally the fact of being second or third in the constructors’ world championship is not that relevant compared to being able to really compete, be at the front and develop the car to be able to win races on its own merits.

“Beating the Ferraris, beating the Red Bulls and preparing for next year more than really worrying about the position in the championship.

George Russell, Mercedes-AMG, 3rd position, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG2n congratulate each other in Parc Ferme

Lewis Hamilton’s second place finish in Hungary means he has already been on the podium more times than Leclerc, who started the year as the title favourite, showing the level of progress Mercedes has made.

But Wolff insists that being at the top is not something his team wants: it’s about being at the front.

“I would have preferred to have more wins and fewer podiums,” he defended. “We are humble, but we strive for race wins and not second and third places. But if it’s on merit like this Sunday, it’s a good step forward.”

The Austrian acknowledged that, beyond the Hungaroring result, what he has been able to learn from his up-and-down weekend will be enormously useful for the second half of the season.

“I think it was a difficult weekend in general, because the suffering on Friday was great when we didn’t really know which way to look,” he added.

“Maybe the fact that we were so wrong on Friday helped us to be very, almost completely right on Sunday.”

“I think we have a lot of data to look at, a lot of positives from the last weekend in France and this one that we can build on for the second half of the season.”

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